Social internet without the danger in school first

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 July 2011

(click on image for larger view)  Priory Community School Worle. Priory starting its own version of Facebook - called PrioryBook, students Anne-Marie Savory, Charlie Gould, Naomi Upwood and Tim Lawrence with IT teacher Tony Pound.

(click on image for larger view) Priory Community School Worle. Priory starting its own version of Facebook - called PrioryBook, students Anne-Marie Savory, Charlie Gould, Naomi Upwood and Tim Lawrence with IT teacher Tony Pound.

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A WORLE school is piloting its own version of a popular social networking site in a bid to protect pupils from the potential evils of the internet.

PrioryBook is an innovative way for Priory Community School, which has technology college status, to enjoy the benefits and popularity of Facebook, without the risks of bullying and other dangers.

It is a project that teachers think could be the first of its type in the country.

The site can potentially keep youngsters, during school hours at least, away from some of the negative aspects of worldwide phenomenon Facebook.

PrioryBook has gone live with about 400 pupils from years seven and eight and about 15 staff taking part in a pilot phase.

The plan is to roll out the scheme to the remaining students and staff by December, after they are trained to use the system in a positive way.

Tony Pound, Head of ICT, said: “PrioryBook allows users to create groups, blogs, chat and share photos and resources, much like Facebook.

“The main advantage of PrioryBook is that the data is securely held on the school site and access to PrioryBook is only available to students and staff at the school.

“All staff and students have also received training on the appropriate use of social networking.

“I also believe that there is a key message here - we are giving our students the opportunity to learn about social networking in a safe environment.”

Facebook has an estimated 750 million users and has helped revolutionise the way people communicate across the world.

Priory Community School in Queens Way has often been at the foreground when it comes to new, technological ideas for North Somerset students.

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